The Smiths Falls Downtown Business Association
Community Improvement Plan (CIP)
The Community Improvement Plan (CIP) affects businesses or multi-unit residential units with commercial-at-grade (single family homes are not included). Any applicant that falls in the community improvement project area (CIPA) is eligible for grants and/or loans to improve the physical frontage of their property. The designated CIPA is as follows:
The plan will be run by a Community Improvement Committee, dedicated to screening and suggesting applications for approval. If the general eligibility guidelines are met by your property, an application may be filled out and submitted.
The programs are as follows:
Program 1: Façade, Landscape and Signage Improvement Grant Program
Intended to encourage private sector property owners to implement aesthetic improvements to their property façades, front lot landscaped areas and signage that otherwise may not occur due to cost-related issues.
Matching grant of up to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs or a maximum grant of $10,000, whichever is less, per property;
Minimum grant of $500 per property.
Program 2: Building Restoration, Renovation and Improvement Program
Matching funding of interior renovations to commercial, commercial mixed-use (commercial-at-grade) and multi-unit residential properties to promote functional improvements, change of use as permitted under zoning (or as may be amended through Zoning By-Law Amendment application); and
Program designed to promote re-use of buildings, use of second floors of commercial premises and sustainable use of buildings capable of providing a competitive location for commercial and mixed-use development.
Property improvements can include any identified and eligible improvements to the building, its structure, building systems, and major internal fit-up.
The grant is equivalent to a proportion of the work value and on a matching funds basis to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs:
Lower: Maximum grant of $20,000 per property (minimum grant of $10,000 per property); Grant is a secured loan, forgivable over 5 years at an annual rate of 20%.
Higher: Maximum loan of $40,000 per property.
Program 3: Planning Fees and Building Permit Grant Program
This program offers property owners with plans to develop new non-residential, mixed use and new multi-unit residential properties, a reduction in applicable planning.
Reduced planning fees may, in concert with other program support, help encourage new development efforts through reducing initial regulatory costs.
Planning Fees Grant:
75% reduction in planning fees;
Maximum total grant of $1,800 per property or 75% reduction in combined planning fee costs, whichever is less;
Limit of one grant per property.
The Town has discretion to offer 100% reduction for larger projects.
Building Permit Fees Grant:
75% reductions in building permit fees for new builds or major renovations;
Maximum grant of $10,000 per property or 75% reduction in planning fee costs, whichever is less.
The Town has discretion to exceed this for major redevelopment in Downtown.
Planning application fees for: Zoning By-law and Official Plan amendments; Site Plan Control for New Development and Additions; Minor Variance; Consent and Encroachment Applications and Deeming Applications.
Building permit fees: New Residential Construction & Residential Renovations, Additions, Repairs, Demolition, Relocation; Residential System Permit; New Non-Residential (Commercial, Industrial, Institutional) Construction & Residential Renovations, Additions, Repairs, Demolition, Relocation; Non-Residential System Permits; and Miscellaneous Permit Fees.
Program 4: Tax-based Redevelopment Grant (TIG) Program
A Tax Increment Grant (TIG) leverages the increased assessment and property taxation generated by site redevelopment to reduce the financial costs of property rehabilitation and redevelopment by:
Providing a grant equivalent to the Municipal tax portion of the property tax for a given property; and
Limiting such grants to annual payments for a maximum period of 5 years or equivalent to the maximum cost of rehabilitation, renovation and/or redevelopment.
The maximum amount of the grant is 80% of the annual tax increment over the agreed base assessment and property tax liability. The maximum duration is 10 years.
For residential development, 100% of the annual municipal tax increments available to be provided as a grant for comprehensive (re)development.
The minimum increase in assessment for which the use of this program of tax base grants is permitted is $300,000 and will remain at this minimum for the duration (5 years) of the CIP.
Generally, smaller scale rehabilitation projects not involving significant additional floor space amounting to an increase in assessment above the minimum will be considered under the Building Restoration, Renovation and Improvement.
Program 5: Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Grant Program
Program to encourage the redevelopment of sites which are either known or perceived to be contaminated by providing properties for which a Phase I ESA exists with further assistance to specify the extent and nature of environmental contamination through a Phase II ESA and subsequent Remedial Action Plans. The Town stands to benefit from having contaminated and otherwise complicated sites are returned to their highest and best use.
The Grant is geared to private landowners/developers for the renovation/redevelopment or re-use of the property.
Maximum grant of up to $15,000 or 50% of the cost of the ESA, whichever is less
Maximum assistance per property of:
Maximum of 1 study per property; and
Maximum of $15,000 per property.
Program 6: Environmental Remediation Tax Assistance Program
Program to encourage the redevelopment of sites which involve the remediation of contaminated soil/buildings and/or other environmental risk management plans eligible for assistance under Regulation. The Environmental Remediation Tax Assistance Program offers the cancellation of property tax increase that result from the remediation and subsequent redevelopment of contaminated sites.
The basis for this program is the Provincial Brownfield Financial Tax Incentive Program (BFTIP) which enables qualifying properties to receive tax assistance in the form of a deferral of both the educational portion of the property tax on a matching basis with the Municipal Portion of the tax for a specified period, following which the deferred taxes are officially cancelled.